732. Padamanuttamam पदमनुत्तमम्

It is pada + anuttama. Pada here means object, abode, etc; anuttama means unsurpassed. He is object of the highest attainment. He is the ultimate abode, where one can reach through the path of devotion and love for Him. This nāma says that He cannot be transcended as He is the Supreme Self.

Brahman is the ultimate object of all yogis. He can only be contemplated and visualized and cannot be seen with biological eyes, as He does not have a specific form. He exists in all shapes and forms and the entire universe is pervaded by Him. The one who understands this and begins to pursue Him through his mind, attains liberation at the end of his spiritual journey.

733. Lokabandhuḥ लोकबन्धुः

Lokabandhu means universal friend. He is not portrayed by Bhīṣma as the One who is beyond reach. He portrays Him as a friend. When there is a distance between Him and the aspirant, it means that the aspirant has not pursued the right kind of spiritual path. When the aspirant mentally affirms that He is within his own body as the soul or jīvātma, it signifies that he pursues the right spiritual path as declared by the Upaniṣad-s. This alone will lead to emancipation.

734. Lokanāthaḥ लोकनाथः

He is the Lord of the universe. He is not just another friend, but also the protector of the universe.

The typical example of this relationship is between Kṛṣṇa and Kuchela. Kṛṣṇa was not only a friend of Kuchela, but also the Lord of the universe. Nāth means to seek aid or to approach one with prayers; example Badrināth. Nātha means protector; for example Jagannātha.

735. Mādhavaḥ माधवः

Repetitive nāma-s 72 and 167.

Mādhava means a person belonging to the clan of Madhu, in which Kṛṣṇa was born. While Bhīṣma was lying on his death bed, Kṛṣṇa was physically present. After having praised Kṛṣṇa in all possible ways, Bhīṣma adores Him, by referring to the clan in which He was born.

736. Bhaktavatslaḥ भक्तवत्स्लः

Vatsla means loving, affectionate, etc, with particular reference to the relationship between a mother and her child. Bhakta means a worshipper. This nāma says that He is affectionate to His devotees. This affection is expressed in the form of love between a cow and her calves.

This nāma defines the depth of devotion. The ultimate stage of devotion is love. The relationship between Him and a devotee is compared to the affection between a cow and her calves. He is like a cow. He always showers love on His devotees and He expects reciprocation from them, the same depth of love. Without love for the Lord, emancipation is not possible.

737. Suvarṇavarṇaḥ सुवर्णवर्णः

He is golden complexioned. This is so because, He is Self-illuminating and from this Light alone, everything else shines.

Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (III.i.2) beautifully explains this. It says, “yadā paśyaḥ paśyate rukmavarṇaṁ”.  yadā – whenever; paśyaḥ - seer, the one who sees and used to mean a yogi here; paśyate – the act of seeing by the seer; rukmavarṇaṁ - the Self-illuminating Brahman within. Rukmavarṇaṁ also means golden complexioned. Therefore, it should be understood that golden complexion does not mean that Brahman is gold complexioned, but used here to signify the Self-illumination of the Brahman within. Realizing this Light is Self-realization and this is what is conveyed through this nāma.

738. Hemāṅgāḥ हेमाङ्गाः

Hemāṅga means the one whose body parts are like gold. This nāma is in confirmation of the previous nāma.

Chāndogya Upaniṣad (I.vi.6) endorses the saying of Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad mentioned above. Chāndogya says, “There is a deity within the orbit of the sun, who is seen by the yogī-s, whose body glitters like gold, even his toenails. He has a bright golden beard and bright golden hair.” All the Upaniṣad-s describe Brahman in masculine gender; hence He is described with golden beard.

There is another reason for His golden sheen mentioned in these two nāma-s. As we know, Viṣṇu always holds His consort Lakṣmī in His chest as per nāma 601 Śrīvatsavakṣāḥ. Śrīsūktam begins by adoring Her as:

hiraṇyavarṇāṁ hariṇīṁ suvarṇarajatasrajām| candrāṁ hiraṇmayīṁ lakṣmīṁ  jātavedo ma āvaha||

हिरण्यवर्णां हरिणीं सुवर्णरजतस्रजाम्। चन्द्रां हिरण्मयीं लक्ष्मीं  जातवेदो म आवह॥

This verse is a prayer to god Agni. “Please bring in Lakṣmī, who has golden hue, beautiful, looking like the moon….”

Since He holds Her in His chest, He shines like gold. Several comparisons are drawn to elucidate Him as the one, who alone is Self-illuminating.

739. Varāṅgaḥ वराङ्गः

He has elegant, handsome and well shaped body. Lakṣmī is the embodiment of beauty and Nārāyaṇa is the embodiment of handsomeness. They together form the most beautiful cosmic couple. They are to be meditated together as Lakṣminārāyaṇa.

These three nāma-s help us to contemplate Him during meditation. He can be visualized as the One, with shining, lustrous and handsome body.

740. Candanāṅgadī चन्दनाङ्गदी

Candana not only means sandal but also used to mean the best of anything; aṅgada is the bracelet worn on the upper arm.

The nāma could mean that He wears bracelets made up of the best sandalwood, which spreads the divine fragrance. He does not need any fragrance as all the fragrances originate from Him. Therefore, fragrance can be interpreted as the Bliss when He is contemplated. One can also feel the fragrance of sandal, if He is contemplated with sandal bracelet. But this can happen only in the highest state of meditation.

741. Vīrahā वीरहा

Repetitive nāma-s 166 and 927.

Vī means going in different directions, to set in motion, etc, explaining His omnipresence and the act of Creation.

Vīraka means a little man, probably referring to His Vāmana avatar.

Vīr means valiant and this has been explained in nāma 166.

742. Viṣamaḥ विषमः

There are several meanings for the word viṣama. Viṣama contextually means unequal and difficult to understand. He is not equal to everyone. His visibility depends upon the level of one’s contemplation. There are three levels. The first level is where He is not contemplated at all. Such men are seriously attached to the material world and they do not have time even to worship Him even for a minute a day. They are not concerned about what will happen to them at the time of their deaths and subsequent births. Even at the time of death, these men are worried about their wealth only. Generally their deaths are painful. The second level is where men think about Him then and there, they worship Him with material things and seek Him outside their mind. Such men waste the precious time of their lives and stick on to the path of dualism or advaita. The third level is where spiritual aspirants seek Him through their minds. They worship Him through their minds, mentally spend time with Him in isolation at least for sometime during a day. This paves the way for their spiritual upliftment and when the time is ripe, they are liberated by Him, subject to their karmic accounts. If their karmic account is too intense, they are made to suffer in this life, at least during the later part of their lives and thus they are made to exhaust their karmic accounts and then liberated.

Hence this nāma says that He is not equal to everyone or His approach is not equal to everyone. Though He puts two steps forward towards a true devotee, the devotee has to put forward at least one step forwards towards Him. If he is not willing to even put a single step forward, He can never be attained. Liberation is not a process that happens in comfort. The path to liberation is mostly tough to traverse and quite often the path itself is not understood properly, delaying the process of liberation.

743. Śūnyaḥ शून्यः

Śūnya means void, emptiness, vacuum, etc.

Brahman is generally called as Śūnya. How can He be Śūnya, when all other nāma-s in this Sahasranāma describe Him with various attributes. Both are right. Brahman is described under two categories - saguṇa Brahman and nirguṇa Brahman. Saguṇa Brahman is with attributes and resultant forms. There are three types of guṇa-s, sattva, rajas and tamas. From these three guṇa-s, creation happens. Nirguṇa Brahman is beyond any human explanation, as He is without attributes. At the most, He can be explained as Śūnya. Therefore, this nāma speaks about Nirguṇa Brahman. As Nirguṇa Brahman cannot be discussed by mystical comprehension, He is adored as Śūnya.

This nāma also indicates that Bhīṣma, the one who renders this Sahasranāma is ready to get liberated, as he now fully understands His true nature and hence he sees beyond Saguṇa Brahman. This can happen only if one completely detaches himself from the materialistic world.

744. Ghṛtāśiḥ घृताशिः

As He alone is Self-illuminating, He endows His true devotees with illumination. He makes them to understand His Light. They are endowed with liberation, the highest blessings one can get from Him.

745. Acalaḥ अचलः

Acala means immovable. It also means mountain. Brahman is always immovable, like a mountain. He is the static energy. It is only His māyā that illusions everyone to think that He is moving. His māyā is the dynamic energy, whose source is the static energy. This nāma also refers to Nirguṇa Brahman discussed in nāma 743.

Few of these nāma-s define how He is static, for example refer nāma 741.

746. Calaḥ चलः

This nāma is to be read along with the previous nāma. These are called dyads. Previous nāma says He is immoveable and this nāma says He is mobile or causing movements. Brahman is always full of dyads and opposites. When He is Light, He is darkness as well. When He is good, He is bad as well. Otherwise, His omnipresence becomes questionable.  Hence, He is portrayed both as Brahman with attributes and without attributes.

This nāma says that He makes movements. But this does not mean that He makes movements. Because of Him, His divine power māyā makes all the movements as real.

Kṛṣṇa explains this in Bhagavad Gītā (VII.13 and 14): “The whole of this creation is deluded by these objects evolved from the there modes of Prakṛti (three guṇa-s); that is why the world fails to recognise Me, standing apart from these imperishable. For this most wonderful māyā of Mine, consisting of three guṇa-s, is extremely difficult to transcend. However, those constantly adore me are able to cross it.”

Though He is static and without modifications (previous nāma), He appears to be moving through His own deceptive power known as māyā.

747. Amānī अमानी

Māna means self-conceit or ego. He is egoless as there is no necessity for Him to be egoistic, as every being is His creation. Prefix A before mānī negates the meaning expressed by the word māna. Egotism is the characteristic of those who are associated only with the material world. Advanced spiritual aspirants will never have ego, as they are closer to Him and hence His qualities are reflected in them.

When one decides to pursue the spiritual path leading to liberation, without his own knowledge, he will progressively gets disconnected from the material world. He becomes devoid of attachments, likes and dislikes, desires, etc. The efficacy of the progress can be measured only by the aspirant. If he has a true Guru, he can also measure his spiritual progress.